Eivind Aarset

Eivind Aarset, a guitarist, has a unique musical vision. He can absorb and reflect all kinds of music and retains an enviable individualism. His high-quality craftsmanship can also be reflected in his guitar playing. The New York Times called his debut album as a bandleader with Jazzland Recordings “One of the greatest post-Miles electric Jazz albums.” This high standard was set by Aarset, who has maintained and exceeded it both in studio and live performance. Eivind Aarset is one of Norway’s most sought-after guitarists. He has played with Bill Laswell and Dhafer Youssef as well as Jon Hassell, Jan Garbarek. Nils Petter Molvaer regularly has him in his band (he appears on all Molvaer albums, including the award-winning album Khmer and 2005ā€™s ER). He is also a frequent collaborator with Dhafer Itsef, both in the studio and live. Aarset was 12 years old when he first heard Jimi Hendrix. He smiles and recalls, “I started playing the guitar as soon I heard him,” with a smile. I bought a Hendrix second-hand record, and that was it. After that, I was hooked on rock bands like Deep Purple and Santana, and Pink Floyd. My brother introduced me to Miles Davis, Weather Report, Mahavishnu Orchestra and Return to Forever. After a while I started to like the ECM sound of Jan Garbarek and Terje Rypdal. Terje Rypdal was an important influence. After that, I was on the road with a full-time heavy metal band. It was a great experience until I became tired of being angry every day! “Then I quit and became session musician.” He was part of Ab Und Zu’s band and created the distinctive sound and style of guitar that he would develop as a member of Bendik Hofseth, the saxophonist. But it was his involvement in Bugge Wesseltoft’s Oslo Jazz underground that gave him the sound he wanted. Eivind says, “What attracted me to this music were the hypnotic grooves I found and the musical freedom that I had.” “There are no set rules or traditions in what I do, and you can create your own rules as you go.” The soloist’s journey through the music is centered around rhythm. “It’s new territory, I don’t know where this scene will end, but there are a lot of great sound and new music being made which makes it such an exciting area.” Electronique Noire was Aarset’s debut album as a bandleader and one of the first Jazzland albums. Critics searched for the right description of the album. “Post rock”, “Nu Jazz”, “Post Miles Ambient” and “Drum ā€˜nā€™ Bass Fusion” were some of the suggestions, but none really captures the rare combination that is Electronique Noire’s unique mix of diversity and coherence. Aarset was touring and working with Nils Petter Molvaer during this time. They recorded on Khmer, the iconic album by the trumpeter (and every Molvaer album thereafter). Many fans discovered Electronique Noire as Molvaer gained international attention. The album’s opener, “Dark Moisture,” was a huge hit and is still popular among Aarset enthusiasts. Light Extracts was the next album and lived up to its promise. The music was evolving into a distinct entity, despite the presence of club rhythms and ambience. Light Extracts is a collection of tracks from “Electronique Noire”, which can be classified individually in terms genres. Aarset first met Hans Ulrik when he played bass clarinet on Marilyn Mazur’s Future Song. Ulrik’s unique sound would give the album a new dimension and he has been featured on every release since. Aarset uses melody as a form of poetry, or painting sound, anchoring it in concrete imagery, rather than abstract. Many critics envision a wintering, far-northern Nordic landscape with fjords, whalesong, and fjords. However, soundscapes can also represent deserts, forests, or desolate alien mountain ranges. The music speaks to an universal spirit. Connected was Aarset’s latest evolutionary leap and serves as a prelude for a manifesto. Aarset’s work method is perfectly captured in Connected. His musical world is unique and his vocabulary on his guitar reflects it. Although the music is self-referential, it still retains warmth and openness. Jan Bang, Erik Honore, and Raymond Pellicer have all consumed the club-oriented aspects of the music. They are now accompanied by a new glitchiness. Aarset’s reflexivity advances boldly and he offers “Changing Waltz”, a variation of “Empathic Guitar” by Light Extracts. Aarset is unburdened by the history and guitar playing, and instead uses his Zen-like calm to make stronger musical statements. Hans Ulrik’s clarinet is joined by Dhafer Youssef, who brings the electronic and acoustic together in a rare balance. Aarset was most recently featured on Jazzland Community, an album documenting the 2006/07 tour that included Bugge Wesseltoft and Sidsel Endesen, Hakon Cornstad, Marius Reksjo and Wetle Holte. Aarset’s “Connectic” track and “Electromagnetic” are among the tracks. Aarset also mentions two ensemble pieces. “The tour was great for me,” he says. I loved how our diverse styles and concepts came together to create a concert that was unified, and not as different acts. The collective improvisation at each concert’s end was incredible. It was always happening.” Sonic Codex is Aarset’s fourth Jazzland album and it is probably his strongest. “Sonic Codex” is a collection of concepts Aarset has previously recorded, which he then restates, elaborates and amplifies to create an album that could be a significant moment in Aarset’s career as well as the history and evolution of Jazzland. The title of the album is a SONIC CODEX, which is an excellent summary of its entire hour-long contents. It outlines Aarset’s rules for engagement with listeners and deliberately quotes and redefines his previous three albums, Electronique Noire and Light Extracts. But it also points the way forward. It is an innovative present that simultaneously summarizes and predicts the future. Live Extracts is a collection of tracks recorded at various venues and featuring slightly different personnel. It retains the same unity of feeling, purpose, and feel as Aarset’s studio recordings, but it is presented from a completely new perspective. Live sets offer a new perspective on familiar material and often sound completely reimagined. Eivind Aarset’s distinctive approach is evident, though it is less refined and refined. This is his raw imagination, sometimes bold, energetic and unrestrained, but capable of moments that are still, tender, and calm. The music is an expressionistic representation of his musical world. However, it never falls into self-indulgence. Instead, the musicians allow the interplay to grow inside and outside the song structures that Aarset’s fans are familiar with, creating something completely new. Although they are derived from different pieces in the Aarset repertoire, the opening and closing tracks are excellent examples of spontaneous music that is full of atmosphere and delicate brilliance. The “Electromagnetic”, and “Sign of Seven”, respectively, echo the music of Miles Davis and Jimi Hendrix. However, they are driven through an Aarset filter. This will be a confirmation of his passion for music to fans. Live Extracts, which Eivind Aarset performs live, will be an experience that will change the way people view concert listings. From www.allaboutjazz.com

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